Mayor demands right to conscientious objection
Many French mayors will refuse to perform homosexual marriages, as this article about the mayor of Arcangues, from Life Site News explains. It must be stressed that mayors are functionaries of the State and must obey the State laws. As Catholics, they have little to say about republican laws, as we have seen recently. Despite a heroic effort to be heard by the authorities, the anti-Taubira protesters remain, in the eyes of François Hollande and his ministers, non-entities.
Since the above article appeared in June there have been new developments. La Croix informs us that Mayor Colo of Arcangues has backed off and allowed one of his adjuncts to perform the ceremony. A notice from Manuel Valls, dated June 13, reviewed the consequences a mayor may have to face for refusing to perform the ceremony: disciplinary measures, payment of damages, and criminal prosecution. The criminal Code provides for a sentence of five years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros.
Traditional Catholics have a difficult time in the public sphere, since their beliefs often run counter to the duties they must perform - divorce lawyers, for example. In the case of homosexual marriage, the stakes are even higher, for they are being asked to contravene the laws of nature, laws that no human being created but that exist inherently in creation. The mayor of Arcangues is only one of many being called upon to wrestle with their conscience over the choice (if one can call it that) they must make. I have already written about Jacques Bompard, mayor of Orange, who refused to perform the ceremony but stepped aside while another elected official married two women.
Now, an article from Novopress tells of the mayor of the city of Mésanger, department of Loire-Atlantique, Jean-Yves Clouet (photo above), who has written a letter addressed to all the mayors of France, requesting on their behalf, and on behalf of their adjuncts, that the status of conscientious objector be granted to them with regard to Taubira's law. He points out that the exercise of power by civil officials has been modified by the new law, forcing them to submit to new norms without the possibility of appeal:
- "The minister of the Interior assumes he can force me, under threat of imprisonment, to apply a law that offends my conscience, as a citizen and an elected official. According to the government's concept, my conscience is not this eminent faculty that distinguishes men from animals, it is only a "feeling" like any other. This is why he claims he can disassociate in me obedience and conscience. When I ran in the municipal elections, I never intended to place my duties in the service of minority interests, gravely contrary to the concept of the Family that I wanted to serve. (…) On behalf of myself and my adjuncts, I demand the status of conscientious objector with regard to Taubira's law. The choice of conscientious objector represents at once the recognition of the legitimacy of the republican system and the respect of freedom of conscience. To refuse a citizen the possibility of asserting this ultimate civil right would be contrary to the spirit of democracy. This is why, as a citizen, I demand the right not to be forced to act, as mayor, against my conscience".
It must be remembered that speaking before the Association of mayors, on November 20, 2012, François Hollande had recognized the possibility for mayors opposed to homosexual marriage to invoke their "freedom of conscience" and to delegate the ceremony to adjuncts. The next day he retracted his promise following a protest from the spokesperson of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi and trans). Will the mayor of Mésanger have more influence over the president than the LGBT lobby? Unlikely.
H/T: The Thinking Housewife, for the Life Site News article.